Title

Caring as an emergent method in qualitative research: A means for moving between research studies and practical support

Location

1049

Format Type

Paper

Format Type

Paper

Start Date

12-1-2017 1:15 PM

End Date

12-1-2017 3:05 PM

Abstract

In 2014, I conducted a dissertation research study on doctoral students who became mothers for the first time during their program of study. I was such a student, although I did not include myself in that initial study. I studied these new “DocMama’s” to try to help them and to help others as I had found myself struggling through personal and structural challenges within the university. While I tried to keep our interviews “professional” where I was the one asking questions and they were answering, I found that the participants wanted to know about my experiences and wanted to hear suggestions, ideas, and challenges that I was experiences. I also found that what they were sharing was useful for my own life, such as considering new ways to consider the challenge of mothering in academia to specific steps they took to get support.

From these interviews, it became clear that having a support system is particularly helpful when becoming (and being) a new mother in academia. The study led to a creation of an online support group that currently has a membership of over 100 women from around the globe, all who are confronting, or who have, been a “dissertating mama.”

In 2015, I followed up with the initial study and sought to bring more mothers in academia together, to highlight our presence. I found that I was drawn towards the creation of something for them, for us, together and while not a study, having another space to demonstrate our existence in academia has been embraced. Then in 2016, I checked back in with the original set of DocMama’s I interviewed to see how they were doing as they transitioned from their doctoral programs to their next careers. This time, I included myself, and as such found that I was now openly caring about them, and myself.

These research studies and outcomes appear to be an outcome of when qualitative researchers care. I see it is the individual personal aspect that relates to this research which has allowed for useful outcomes. In so many ways I had been taught to not include myself in the research, or at the extreme to explain my positionality, but then try to bracket it so I could see the participants’ experience in more detail. Instead, I see the potential of caring as technique for qualitative research. Perhaps as an emergent method, just as arts-based research was once new in our discipline and even today has to be argued for its rigor, caring may be the next step of incorporation in qualitative research methodologies.

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Jan 12th, 1:15 PM Jan 12th, 3:05 PM

Caring as an emergent method in qualitative research: A means for moving between research studies and practical support

1049

In 2014, I conducted a dissertation research study on doctoral students who became mothers for the first time during their program of study. I was such a student, although I did not include myself in that initial study. I studied these new “DocMama’s” to try to help them and to help others as I had found myself struggling through personal and structural challenges within the university. While I tried to keep our interviews “professional” where I was the one asking questions and they were answering, I found that the participants wanted to know about my experiences and wanted to hear suggestions, ideas, and challenges that I was experiences. I also found that what they were sharing was useful for my own life, such as considering new ways to consider the challenge of mothering in academia to specific steps they took to get support.

From these interviews, it became clear that having a support system is particularly helpful when becoming (and being) a new mother in academia. The study led to a creation of an online support group that currently has a membership of over 100 women from around the globe, all who are confronting, or who have, been a “dissertating mama.”

In 2015, I followed up with the initial study and sought to bring more mothers in academia together, to highlight our presence. I found that I was drawn towards the creation of something for them, for us, together and while not a study, having another space to demonstrate our existence in academia has been embraced. Then in 2016, I checked back in with the original set of DocMama’s I interviewed to see how they were doing as they transitioned from their doctoral programs to their next careers. This time, I included myself, and as such found that I was now openly caring about them, and myself.

These research studies and outcomes appear to be an outcome of when qualitative researchers care. I see it is the individual personal aspect that relates to this research which has allowed for useful outcomes. In so many ways I had been taught to not include myself in the research, or at the extreme to explain my positionality, but then try to bracket it so I could see the participants’ experience in more detail. Instead, I see the potential of caring as technique for qualitative research. Perhaps as an emergent method, just as arts-based research was once new in our discipline and even today has to be argued for its rigor, caring may be the next step of incorporation in qualitative research methodologies.